NWCCU Accreditation

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) is one of seven accrediting agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as reliable authorities on the quality of education offered by colleges and universities. Pacific University is accredited as an institution by the NWCCU, 8060 165th Avenue NE, Suite 100, Redmond, WA 98052, (425) 558-4224.

Accreditation of an institution of higher education by the NWCCU indicates that it meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality evaluated through a peer review process. An accredited university is one that has the necessary resources to achieve its stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, is substantially doing so, and is providing reasonable evidence that it will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the NWCCU is not partial but applies to the institution as a whole. As such, it is not a guarantee of every course or program offered, or of the competence of individual graduates. Rather, it provides reasonable assurance about the quality of opportunities available to students who attend the institution. Accreditation is also the mechanism through which the federal government determines federal financial aid eligibility. 

Pacific University has maintained its accredited status since the initial award in 1929.  Pacific’s most recent re-accreditation was awarded in 2017, and its next re-evaluation will be in 2023.

In addition to its institutional accreditation, Pacific is licensed by the state of Oregon, and many of its programs also carry specialized professional accreditation through their respective accrediting agencies. Information about state authorization can be found below. For information on specialized accreditation, see the Specialized Accreditation page.

NWCCU Accreditation Cycle

The Northwest Commission operates with a seven-year evaluation and reaccreditation cycle. Pacific will undergo the following evaluations to complete the current cycle:

  • Mid-Cycle Report and Site Visit, Fall 2019
  • Year-Six Policies, Regulations and Financial Review, Fall 2022
  • Year-Seven Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness, Fall 2023

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to conduct comprehensive evaluation of Pacific University on October 4-6, 2023.

The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) will perform a Year Seven Comprehensive Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness accreditation visit to Pacific University on October 4-6, 2023. An NWCCU evaluation team will be meeting with administration, students, faculty, staff and members of the Pacific Board of Trustees. The purpose of the visit is to evaluate Pacific’s compliance with NWCCU accreditation standards and policies.

The public is invited to submit written comments regarding Pacific’s qualifications for accreditation. The Commission office accepts third-party comments up to 10 days before the start date of the evaluation visit electronically via a link provided at: or at the mailing address below:

8060 165th Avenue N.E.
Suite 200
Redmond, WA 98052

For more information, visit the NWCCU website:

October 4-6, 2023, Site Visit Open Forums

Three forums will take place for faculty, staff and students to each provide input and respond to evaluators’ questions.

  • Faculty Forum: Wednesday, Oct. 4, 3 p.m. MPR
  • Staff Forum: Thursday, Oct. 5, 9 a.m., MPR
  • Student Forum (undergraduate and graduate), Oct. 5, 11 a.m. MPR

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities Evaluators will be on campus October 4-6 as part of our accreditation cycle and evaluating how we deliver on our university mission. Evaluators will meet with constituent groups of the university to ask specific questions related to the information and evidence submitted by Pacific in its “Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness” (EIE) report, submitted Aug. 4, 2023, and information submitted in 2022 in Pacific’s “Policies, Regulations, and Financial Review” (PRFR) report. The evaluation team will then write a report that includes Commendations for strengths and Recommendations for how Pacific can improve in its processes for ensuring institutional effectiveness and student success. Accreditation reviews provide feedback that can help Pacific improve. But they also have financial significance for students:  Successful accreditation reviews preserve federal financial aid eligibility for Pacific’s students. 

In order to provide an environment where participants can feel free to share feedback, individuals in supervisory positions should NOT attend. Any student can attend the student forum, although employees who are students are advised to refrain from attending if their attendance could risk compromising the comfort of the non-employee student population to participate openly. Note: To protect the confidentiality of participants, forums may not be recorded, nor photos taken.

Recent Accreditation Reports

PUNID Required to access accreditation reports and documentation. 

Evaluation of Institutional Effectiveness Report, August 2023

Policies, Regulations, and Financial Review Report (PRFR), September 2022

Mid-Cycle Self-Evaluation Report, September 2019  

Addendum: Response to Recommendations, September 2019 

Ad-Hoc Self-Evaluation, March 2018  

Year-One Report, September 2017  

Year-Seven Report, September 2016 

Pacific Accreditation Resources

Lisa Carstens, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Accreditation Liaison Officer 

2023-2024 Accreditation Steering Committee Roster


2018-2019 Mission Fulfillment Report 

2019-2020 Mission Fulfillment Report

2020-2021 Mission Fulfillment Report

2021-2022 Mission Fulfillment Report

2022-2023 Mission Fulfillment Report 

Core Theme Dashboard 2023

Core Theme Multiyear Dashboard of Indicator Results

Pacific University State of Oregon License

Pacific University is duly licensed by the State of Oregon Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) as a Degree-Granting Institution of Higher Education. The ODA provides for the protection of the citizens of Oregon and their postsecondary schools by ensuring the quality of higher education and preserving the integrity of an academic degree as a public credential. ODA administers laws, standards, and services that protect students, holders of legitimately earned degrees, institutions, businesses, employers, patients or clients and licensing boards.

Office of Degree Authorization
1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401

Students' Right to Information

Federal Regulation 668.43 (b) requirements for institutions of higher education. The institution must make available for review to any enrolled or prospective student upon request, a copy of the documents describing the institution's accreditation and its State, Federal or tribal approval or licensing. The institution must also provide its students or prospective students with contact information for filing complaints with its accreditor and with its State approval or licensing entity and any other relevant State official or agency that would appropriately handle a student's complaint.

Contact information for filing complaints with the ODA and/or NWCCU and with a specific relevant state official or agency that would appropriately handle a student’s complaint shall be provided by the Office of Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Ann Barr-Gillespie
503-352-2114 |